KFF Health News Original Stories
Why Covid Patients Who Could Most Benefit From Paxlovid Still Aren’t Getting It
Price worries, bureaucratic obstacles, and “I’m-over-covid-itis” slow uptake of a drug that’s complicated to take but often effective. (Arthur Allen, )
California Attorney General Boosts Bill Banning Medical Debt From Credit Reports
California Attorney General Rob Bonta has thrown his weight behind state Sen. Monique Limón’s legislation to bar unpaid medical bills from showing up on consumer credit reports. If passed, California would join just a few other states with such protections. (Molly Castle Work, )
'An Arm and a Leg' Podcast: The Medicare Episode
On this episode of “An Arm and a Leg,” host Dan Weissmann breaks down the complicated and expensive world of Medicare with practical tips to pick the right plan and avoid penalties. (Dan Weissmann, )
Biden Said State of the Union Is Strong and Made Clear His Campaign Is Off and Running
President Joe Biden used his roughly 68-minute address to Congress to counter lackluster public approval ratings and draw clear contrasts between his administration’s policies and those of Donald Trump and some congressional Republicans. Abortion and health care were in the spotlight. (KFF Health News and PolitiFact staffs, )
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Health IT
Medicare To Offer Loans To Providers Feeling Pinch From Change Hack
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Saturday that it will provide advances to hospital, health groups, and other medical providers that have been financially impacted by delayed payments from Change Healthcare after its system outage caused by a ransomware attack. HHS is also urging UnitedHealth, the parent company, to expedite payments.
Stat: Medicare Announces Loan Program To Aid Providers Affected By Change Cyberattack
Medicare announced on Saturday that it will make advance payments available to physician groups, hospitals, and other health care facilities as part of its response to the February 21 Change Healthcare cyberattack. (Trang, 3/10)
Reuters: US Officials Urge UnitedHealth To Expedite Payments To Providers
Officials from the U.S. government asked UnitedHealth Group to expedite payments to healthcare providers in an open letter on Sunday, after a hack of the insurer's Change Healthcare tech unit crippled medical claims and payments. Officials from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urged UnitedHealth (UHG) to take "responsibility to ensure no provider is compromised by their cash flow challenges stemming from this cyberattack on Change Healthcare." (3/10)
The New York Times: With Cyberattack Fix Weeks Away, Health Providers Slam United
More than two weeks after a cyberattack, financially strapped doctors, hospitals and medical providers on Friday sharply criticized UnitedHealth Group’s latest estimate that it would take weeks longer to fully restore a digital network that funnels hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance payments every day. UnitedHealth said that it would be at least two weeks more to test and establish a steady flow of payments for bills that have mounted since hackers effectively shut down Change Healthcare. (Abelson and Creswell, 3/8)
Axios: Health Care Providers Losing Up To $1B A Day From Cyberattack
Disruptions from the Change Healthcare cyberattack are costing health providers as much as $1 billion a day and creating enough of a drag to depress first-quarter earnings, analysts and industry officials say. (Reed, 3/11)
Politico: HHS Wants UnitedHealth To Take Responsibility After Cyberattack
HHS told health care leaders Sunday that the agency is urging UnitedHealth Group to take responsibility for the impact of a massive cyberattack that has delayed provider payments. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra wrote to the health care industry Sunday after lawmakers called on federal officials to do more to quickly get payments to impacted providers. In his response, Becerra defended HHS’ actions following the attack and said officials are now “asking private sector leaders across the health care industry — especially other payers — to meet the moment.” (Cirruzzo, 3/10)
Administration News
Insurers Agree To Cover Cancer Navigators As Part Of Moonshot Program
As part of President Joe Biden's push to expand his cancer moonshot program, more than six large insurers have agreed to cover services offered by cancer navigators who help patients through the complicated medical treatment options and process.
USA Today: Biden's Cancer Moonshot Is Expanding: New Patient Navigators, Insurance Coverage
More than a half dozen large private health insurance companies have agreed to cover the cost of navigators who guide cancer patients and their families through the confusing array of medical appointments and drug treatments that follow a diagnosis. The expansion of the cancer navigator program, part of President Joe Biden's ambitious Cancer Moonshot, is among a handful of health initiatives unveiled this week to coincide with the president's State of the Union address. (Alltucker, 3/8)
Newsweek: Fact Check: Are COVID Vaccines Being Used To Beat Cancer?
During his State of The Union Address on March 7, 2024, President Joe Biden said: "The pandemic no longer controls our lives. The vaccines that saved us from COVID are now being used to help beat cancer, turning setback into comeback. That's what America does." The president's comments were met, by some, with incredulity. However, research since the pandemic has found that the technology used in the COVID vaccines may be useful in the treatment of other life-threatening illnesses and conditions. (3/8)
CNBC: Pfizer Is Betting Big On Cancer Drugs After Covid Decline
Pfizer is ready to move on from Covid. Now, the company is betting on cancer drugs to help it regain its footing after a rocky year marked by the rapid decline of its Covid business. It just might take a while before that bet pays off. (Constantino, 3/10)
More from the State of the Union address —
KFF Health News: Biden Said State Of The Union Is Strong And Made Clear His Campaign Is Off And Running
President Joe Biden touted his administration’s accomplishments in health care in a wide-ranging State of the Union address on Thursday evening that touched on subjects such as immigration, the economy, crime, job growth, infrastructure, and the Israel-Hamas war. With Biden and former President Donald Trump now the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees, Biden used the roughly 68-minute speech to counter his lackluster public approval ratings and draw clear contrasts between his administration’s policies and those of Trump and some congressional Republicans. (3/8)
AP: Biden’s Big Speech Showed His Uneasy Approach To Abortion, An Issue Bound To Be Key In The Campaign
Reproductive freedom took center stage during Biden’s State of the Union address, but abortion rights advocates had mixed reactions, raising concerns about the president trying to capitalize on what will be a central campaign issue while avoiding using the word “abortion.” Abortion rights have proved to be a potent issue driving voters to the polls and boosting Democrats since the U.S. Supreme Court ended a constitutional right to the procedure nearly two years ago. The issue could be pivotal in the presidential race and congressional contests this year. (Fernando, 3/10)
On marijuana —
The Wall Street Journal: Biden Push To Ease Marijuana Restrictions Sparks Tensions
Federal officials are at odds over President Biden’s push to loosen restrictions on marijuana, a move some in the White House hope to see ahead of an election in which he needs the support of younger voters. The president’s latest advocacy came during Thursday’s State of the Union address, in which he touted his efforts to expunge marijuana-possession convictions and soften how the drug is categorized under federal law. (Gurman, 3/9)
The Washington Post: Daily Marijuana Users 25 Percent More Likely To Have A Heart Attack
Adults who use marijuana daily are 25 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who don’t use it, according to research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and funded by the National Institutes of Health. The study also found a 42 percent increased likelihood of stroke linked to daily marijuana (cannabis) use. (Searing, 3/11)
Covid Pandemic Declared 4 Years Ago Today: It's Killed Nearly 1.2 Million Americans
News outlets examine the impact covid has had on the U.S. over those last 4 years, including how some patients aren't getting Paxlovid, how long covid is still hurting many people as the pandemic fades, and how the virus can persist in blood and tissue.
Axios: The Day Everything Changed
A new chapter in global history — the pandemic era — came crashing into existence four years ago today. It's pretty rare to be able to point to a single day that transformed the whole world. But March 11, 2020, is one of those days. (Baker, 3/11)
ABC News: On 4-Year Anniversary Of The WHO Declaring COVID A Pandemic, A Look At The Virus By The Numbers
Monday marks the 4-year anniversary of the WHO declaring the COVID global outbreak to be a pandemic. Since the pandemic began, more than 1.18 million Americans have died from COVID-19, according to CDC data. The U.S. crossed the 1 million mark on May 12, 2022. Here's a look at the virus in the U.S. by the numbers. (Kekatos, 3/11)
Time: The Isolation Of Having Long COVID As Society Moves On
March 11 marks four years since COVID-19 became a pandemic. Much of society has moved on, but those with Long COVID are feeling left behind. Cynthia Adinig, 38, has been dealing with symptoms of Long COVID since 2020, and says that, as someone who is immunocompromised, trying to avoid reinfection in a society in which most people have stopped masking has drastically impacted all aspects of her life. “It shrinks everything down so much,” she says. “My world gets smaller and smaller outside of these doors.” (Shah, 3/11)
CIDRAP: SARS-CoV-2 RNA Can Persist In Blood, Tissue, May Play Role In Long COVID, Research Suggests
SARS-CoV-2 viral fragments can remain in blood and tissue for more than a year after infection, which researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) say could contribute to long COVID. In two studies, the researchers found SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the blood for up to 14 months post-infection and for more than 2 years in connective-tissue samples from 171 COVID-19 survivors without evidence of reinfection. (Van Beusekom, 3/8)
KFF Health News: Why Covid Patients Who Could Most Benefit From Paxlovid Still Aren’t Getting It 
Evangelical minister Eddie Hyatt believes in the healing power of prayer but “also the medical approach.” So on a February evening a week before scheduled prostate surgery, he had his sore throat checked out at an emergency room near his home in Grapevine, Texas. A doctor confirmed that Hyatt had covid-19 and sent him to CVS with a prescription for the antiviral drug Paxlovid, the generally recommended medicine to fight covid. Hyatt handed the pharmacist the script, but then, he said, “She kept avoiding me.” (Allen, 3/11)
Outbreaks and Health Threats
Public Health Experts Worry As Trump Ramps Up Anti-Vax Messaging
The former president has been threatening to withhold money from schools with vaccine or mask mandates. Meanwhile, in West Virginia, Republican state lawmakers advanced a bill paring back a strict public school vaccine mandate.
The Hill: Trump’s Vaccine Rhetoric Sends Chills Through Public Health Circles
Public health advocates are watching in growing alarm as former President Trump increasingly embraces the anti-vaccine movement. “I will not give one penny to any school that has a vaccine mandate or a mask mandate,” Trump said in a recent campaign rally in Richmond, Va. It’s a line Trump has repeated, and his campaign said he is only referring to school COVID-19 vaccine mandates — but that hasn’t eased fears that the GOP leader could accelerate already worrying trends of declining child vaccination. (Weixel, 3/9)
AP: West Virginia Lawmakers OK Bill Drawing Back One Of The Country's Strictest Child Vaccination Laws
West Virginia’s GOP-controlled state Legislature voted Saturday to allow some students who don’t attend traditional public schools to be exempt from state vaccination requirements that have long been held up as among the most strict in the country. The bill was approved despite the objections of Republican Senate Health and Human Resources Chair Mike Maroney, a trained doctor, who called the bill “an embarrassment” and said he believed lawmakers were harming the state. “I took an oath to do no harm. There’s zero chance I can vote for this bill,” Maroney said before the bill passed the Senate 18-12. (Willingham, 3/10)
Chicago Tribune: Measles Case Reported At Chicago's Largest Migrant Shelter
A child staying at a migrant shelter on the Lower West Side developed a confirmed case of measles, Chicago public health officials announced Friday. It was the second case of measles reported in the city this week. Officials said the child has recovered and is no longer infectious. The city of Chicago is responding with a “host of resources,” a city spokesperson said in a statement Friday morning. (Salzman, 3/8)
The Hill: Measles Outbreak Threatens US Status Of ‘Eliminating’ Virus
The rash of measles outbreaks around the country has sparked concerns that the U.S. risks losing its status as a country where the disease has been eliminated, a distinction held since 2000. As of last week, 41 measles cases have been confirmed across 15 states and New York City, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That puts the nation already on track to surpass the 58 total cases that were detected in 2023. (Choi, 3/8)
Updates from the world’s largest vaccine maker —
Reuters: Serum Institute Of India Looks Beyond COVID With New Vaccines For Malaria, Dengue
The CEO of the world's biggest vaccine maker, Serum Institute of India, said the company has bolstered its manufacturing ahead of launches over the next few years of shots against diseases like malaria and dengue by repurposing facilities used to make COVID-19 immunizations. With COVID manufacturing scaled back as demand ebbs, the company is using those facilities to instead manufacture its newer shots, which it estimates will boost total production by two and a half billion doses, CEO Adar Poonawalla said in an interview. (Mishra, 3/10)
After Roe V. Wade
Republican Lawmakers Refusing To Adjust Unclear Abortion Bans
AP reports on how lawmakers aren't planning to adjust any abortion bans even though medical professionals complain about risks from unclear exception rules. Stat notes there's been a failure to even define what abortion is.
AP: GOP Lawmakers Resist Calls To Tweak Abortion Bans. Some Say They'll Clarify The Laws' Few Exceptions
In Republican-led states across the U.S., conservative legislators are refusing to reevaluate abortion bans — even as doctors and patients insist the laws’ exceptions are dangerously unclear, resulting in denied treatment to some pregnant women in need. Instead, GOP leaders accuse abortion rights advocates of deliberately spreading misinformation and doctors of intentionally denying services in an effort to undercut the bans and make a political point. (Kruesi, 3/11)
Stat: Amid The Battle Over Abortion Rights, A Failure To Agree On How To Define Abortion
Every year, Lisa Campo-Engelstein tells her medical ethics class the story of Isabel: A fictional character who arrives at a health clinic seeking an abortion. Doctors determine that Isabel is 37 weeks pregnant and, what’s more, she’s suffering from high blood pressure that endangers the life of the fetus. Thirty-seven weeks is just three shy of an average full-length pregnancy, so instead of an abortion, the clinic’s doctors recommend that Isabel have an emergency C-section to maximize the chance of a live birth. Isabel refuses. “I don’t want to get cut open to save a baby I didn’t even want in the first place,” she says. By refusing the C-section, is she having an abortion? (Sidik, 3/11)
The Texas Tribune: Can Texas’ Child Services Handle More Kids After Abortion Ban? 
As Texas has underfunded programs for people with disabilities over decades, accessing these services is a minefield. And advocates, lawmakers and experts worry it may become even more difficult in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned, as demand for these state services rises but policy goes on unchanged. More than 16,000 additional babies were born in Texas in 2022 compared to 2021 after the state banned almost all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, according to a University of Houston analysis of 2022 fertility data. (Bohra, 3/11)
Chicago Tribune: Illinois Abortion Providers Praise Drugstore Plans To Dispense Mifepristone, But Foes Fear 'Normalizing' Terminations.
As the drugstore chains Walgreens and CVS Health plan to begin dispensing the controversial abortion pill mifepristone, Illinois reproductive rights advocates praise the new means of access to the medication — which they say will improve health equity as well as help destigmatize abortion. (Lourgos, 3/9)
The New York Times: Wyoming Banned Abortion. She Opened An Abortion Clinic Anyway
It was not such an implausible idea, back in 2020, when a philanthropist emailed Julie Burkhart to ask if she would consider opening an abortion clinic in Wyoming, one of the nation’s most conservative states and the one that had twice given Donald Trump his biggest margin of victory. In fact, Ms. Burkhart had the same idea more than a decade earlier, after an anti-abortion extremist killed her boss and mentor, George Tiller, in Wichita, Kan., where he ran one of the nation’s few clinics that provided abortion late in pregnancy. (Zernike, 3/10)
Manufacturer Of Failed ALS Drug Relyvrio Is Considering Withdrawing It
Though the FDA approved the drug less than two years ago, Amylyx's ALS drug has now failed a large clinical trial. Separately, the FDA is delaying approval for an experimental Alzheimer's drug so it can examine its effectiveness.
The New York Times: A.L.S. Drug Relyvrio Fails Clinical Trial And May Be Withdrawn From The Market
One of the few treatments the Food and Drug Administration has approved for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has failed a large clinical trial, and its manufacturer said Friday that it was considering whether to withdraw it from the market. The medication, called Relyvrio, was approved less than two years ago, despite questions about its effectiveness in treating the severe neurological disorder. (Belluck, 3/8)
Stat: Amylyx ALS Drug Failure Raises Questions And Concerns
The latest disappointment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research brought crushing news for patients and physicians, forcing the community to consider just what to do with an approved medicine that doesn’t appear to work. (Feuerstein and Garde, 3/8)
AP: FDA Will Take A Deeper Look Into The Safety And Effectiveness Of Lilly Experimental Alzheimer's Drug
Federal regulators put off a decision on whether to approve an Eli Lilly Alzheimer’s drug by making an unusual request to have outside advisers look at the treatment. Lilly had expected the Food and Drug Administration to decide on donanemab’s approval by the end of the month. But the drugmaker said Friday that the agency now wants more information about its safety and effectiveness. No date has been set for the advisory committee meeting. (Murphy and Perrone, 3/8)
The New York Times: Overdose Or Poisoning? A New Debate Over What To Call A Drug Death
As millions of fentanyl-tainted pills inundate the United States masquerading as common medications, grief-scarred families have been pressing for a change in the language used to describe drug deaths. They want public health leaders, prosecutors and politicians to use “poisoning” instead of “overdose.” In their view, “overdose” suggests that their loved ones were addicted and responsible for their own deaths, whereas “poisoning” shows they were victims. (Hoffman, 3/11)
Fortune: Mark Cuban Says CEOs Don’t Understand Their Health Care Costs. Here’s What The Cost Plus Drugs Cofounder’s Mistakes Have Taught Him
When a CEO fails to grasp the nuances of their company’s health care costs, it’s not just the bottom line that suffers. Employee efficiency and productivity could plummet, too, not to mention the corrosion of company culture. For these reasons, billionaire entrepreneur and Cost Plus Drugs cofounder Mark Cuban urges business leaders to take a hard look at how their health dollars are spent. (Leake, 3/8)
Health Industry
Insurers Are Making It Hard To Get At-Home Ventilators
A report says doctors are complaining that insurers' delays and denials are impacting patients who need a machine's help to breathe. Also in the news: UnitedHealth quietly bought lots of outpatient centers, for the most part without announcing it had done so.
AP: Insurer Delays And Denials Hamper Patients Seeking At-Home Breathing Machines
Lou Gehrig’s disease took away Grace Armant’s ability to speak, but the 84-year-old still has plenty to say about her insurance. UnitedHealthcare has rejected several requests from her doctors for coverage of a machine Armant needs to breathe as she deals with the fatal illness. … Doctors around the country say UnitedHealthcare and other insurers have made it harder to get coverage for certain home ventilators that patients like Armant need as their lungs fail. (Murphy, 3/9)
Stat: UnitedHealth Quietly Bought Dozens Of Outpatient Centers
UnitedHealth Group quietly acquired dozens of outpatient facilities in 2023, with a particular focus on surgery centers, according to a STAT review of company financial filings. Those acquisitions — nearly all of which the company never announced — build on the network of some 90,000 physicians UnitedHealth Group has amassed in recent years. (Herman, 3/11)
The Washington Post: Social Factors May ‘Disproportionately’ Affect Transplant Process
More than 100,000 people in the United States are on wait lists for an organ transplant. With a shortage of needed organs, transplant centers must choose among hopeful patients, accepting those candidates deemed to have the greatest need and highest chances of success. What many people don’t realize is that medically qualifying for a transplant is just part of that process. (Markovitz, 3/10)
Modern Healthcare: HIMSS 2024: What To Expect In Orlando 
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s annual conference is set to commence in Orlando, Florida on Monday. It will be the first HIMSS gathering since the nonprofit health IT advocacy organization sold the industry conference to London-based events company Informa in August. Informa took over operations, sales and marketing of the annual event while HIMSS has continued to shape the show’s content. (Turner, 3/8)
KFF Health News: The Medicare Episode
On this episode of “An Arm and a Leg,” host Dan Weissmann breaks down the complicated and expensive world of Medicare with practical tips to pick the right plan and avoid penalties. (3/11)
State Watch
Oregon Governor Will Sign Bill To Reverse Decriminalization Of Drug Use
Three years after adopting the most liberal drug laws in the nation, a new Oregon bill would reintroduce criminal penalties for drug use, while also allowing officials some latitude in pushing for treatment or jail for offenders. Other regional public health news is reported from Maryland, California, Colorado, and Texas.
Reuters: Oregon Governor To Sign Bill Recriminalizing Drug Use
Oregon Governor Tina Kotek on Friday vowed to sign into law a bill that recriminalizes drug use, more than three years after voters approved the most liberal drug law in the country, one that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs. "I intend to sign House Bill 4002 and the related prevention and treatment investments within the next 30 days," Kotek, a Democrat, said in a statement. (Trotta, 3/9)
The Baltimore Sun: Maryland Senate Passes Bill Allowing Undocumented Immigrants To Purchase Health Insurance 
After shelving the policy last year, the Maryland Senate passed legislation Friday that would allow undocumented residents to apply to purchase health insurance through the state. “This is about reducing [the] cost for all of us,” Senate Budget and Taxation Vice Chair Jim Rosapepe, a Democrat who represents portions of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties, said while explaining his vote. “All of us.” (Gaskill, 3/8)
KFF Health News: California Attorney General Boosts Bill Banning Medical Debt From Credit Reports 
California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday that he is throwing his weight behind legislation to bar medical debt from showing up on consumer credit reports, a Democratic-led effort to offer protection to patients squeezed by health care bills. Bonta is a sponsor of Sen. Monique Limón’s bill, which seeks to block health care providers, as well as any contracted collection agency, from sharing a patient’s medical debt with credit reporting agencies. (Castle Work, 3/11)
The Colorado Sun: Why Colorado's Health Department Wants To Help With Your Taxes
With tax time upon us, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has an unusual offer: It wants to help. But why would an agency better known for vaccination campaigns and pollution regulations be interested in providing tax support? The answer lies in a 4-year-old CDPHE program intended to improve families’ economic mobility as a way of improving community health. (Ingold, 3/11)
The Texas Tribune: Texas Infants From Same Neighborhood Diagnosed With Botulism
Two newborns living with their families in the same West Texas neighborhood were earlier this year diagnosed with botulism, a rare — and in some cases, fatal — illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves. (Ramos, 3/11)
Lifestyle and Health
Proportion Of US Prisoners Aged 55 Or Over Has Risen Dramatically
NPR notes that the proportion of prisoners who may be defined as "geriatric" is now about five times the 30 years-ago figure, and that prisons aren't ready for this. Also in the news: organ age, an infant swing recall, and more.
NPR: The U.S. Prison Population Is Graying Fast. Prisons Aren't Ready
Prison is a difficult environment, and people behind bars tend to age faster than people on the outside. For that reason, "geriatric" in prison can mean someone as young as 50, though it varies by state. Any way you define it, the U.S. prison population is getting grayer — and fast. "You don't usually build prisons with nursing home-type housing." The proportion of state and federal prisoners who are 55 or older is about five times what it was three decades ago. In 2022, that was more than 186,000 people. (Anderson, 3/11)
The Wall Street Journal: To Get Ahead Of Diseases, It May Help To Find Your Organ Age
How old is your pancreas? What about your brain or heart? Scientists have come up with a way to estimate the age of organs, separate from the body’s age as a whole. They found in a recent study that many of us are walking around with at least one organ aging much more quickly than the others, and that older organs can indicate a greater chance of developing diseases. (Janin, 3/9)
Chicago Tribune: Chaperones May Offer One Way To Prevent Sexual Abuse Of Patients
Tearha Hill typically stands to one side of the room, with her eyes trained on the medical exam happening in front of her. The licensed practical nurse watches the doctor. Every few seconds, she looks at the patient’s face, searching for signs of distress. As a chaperone in the Women’s Health Clinic at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hill is present for sensitive procedures including Pap smears, breast exams and pelvic exams, acting as a witness and helping to protect both patients and doctors. (Schencker and Hoerner, 3/10)
The New York Times: Jool Baby Infant Swings Recalled Over Suffocation Hazard
Jool Baby, a brand of children’s products, has recalled about 63,000 infant swings that were sold at Walmart stores and online because they posed a suffocation risk, federal safety regulators said. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday that the Jool Baby Nova Baby Infant Swing that was marketed, intended or designed for infant sleep posed a suffocation risk because it had an incline angle greater than 10 degrees. (Diaz, 3/10)
Newsweek: Sausage Recall After Pieces Of Rubber Found In Products
A Denmark, Wisconsin-based cooked sausages producer is recalling about 35,430 pounds of turkey sausage over concerns they may be contaminated with pieces of rubber, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has said. In an alert issued on Thursday, the federal agency announced that Salm Partners, which describes itself as the "market leader in cook-in-package sausage and hot dogs," was recalling batches of 12-ounce Johnsonville Polish Kielbasa turkey sausage. (3/8)
Editorials And Opinions
Viewpoints: Insurance Companies Can Drop Patients Whenever; Choosing Between Doctor Vs. Urgent Care
Editorial writers examine insurance companies, urgent care, covid, and disabilities in academia.
The Washington Post: How Your In-Network Health Coverage Can Vanish Before You Know It
Sarah Feldman, 35, received the first ominous letters from Mount Sinai Medical last November. The New York hospital system warned that it was having trouble negotiating a pricing agreement with UnitedHealthcare, which includes Oxford Health Plans, Feldman’s insurer. (Elisabeth Rosenthal, 3/11)
USA Today: Yes, Urgent Care Is Convenient. But Seeing Your Doctor May Save Your Life.
When Americans feel sick, they often face a choice: Try to make a doctor's appointment − and potentially wait days or weeks − or head to the closest urgent care or retail clinic to see a provider right away. (Dr. Andrea Klemes, 3/11)
The New York Times: A Doctor Approaches Covid Differently, Four Years After The Pandemic Began 
Walking through the intensive care unit is often a lesson in how much there is to fear. Just a few years ago, I walked through these halls thinking constantly of Covid, afraid that I would contract the virus in a patient room or in a conversation with a colleague. (Daniela J. Lamas, 3/10)
Bloomberg: Sex Differences Could Be Key To Treating Long Covid — And So Much Else
Among the many mysteries about long Covid, one of the most vexing has been why women seem to experience the condition more often and more severely than men. Now, scientists are starting to think hormones — and the different ways they affect women and men — could be part of the puzzle. (Lisa Jarvis, 3/7)
Stat: How To Bring More Disabled Researchers Into Academia 
Despite being the largest minority in the nation, disabled people like us have been structurally and institutionally obstructed from entering research-dominated fields. When they do manage to break through, they are seldom given the support and accommodations needed to sustain employment and thrive in their professional lives. (Elizabeth Weaver II and Kiana Jackson, 3/11)
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